Miuccia Prada’s spring Miu Miu collection was very Miu Miu, meaning the clothes encapsulated the cockeyed yet alluring mix of girlish and boyish, ugly and pretty, and retro but not vintage, that defines the label’s aesthetic. But this time the lineup felt less about a singular, unmissable message — like the extravagant furs and beach part of her recent collections — than a collection of outfits born from the label’s specific aesthetic vocabulary. That’s not meant as a slight. They were interesting, unique, fashion-filled outfits, but they didn’t scream.
Prada intended it that way. “What was important for me, what was really new was, for the first time, I really worked on girls, on different people and enjoying the way one dress looked different on one girl versus another one,” she said after the show. “We discovered at the end the show was for very few white girls.” More than half of the 57 models cast for the show were not Caucasian. Prada didn’t elaborate on her process, if she had personalities and ethnicities in mind when she was designing or if it came down to final styling and casting, but she delivered a diversity statement within the show. And yet it didn’t come off like a preachy stunt. The models looked as natural and beautiful as they ever could, and it remained a fashion show about clothes.
It opened on a geek-chic boyish note with a chevron sweater vest over a striped, pointed-collar button-down shirt and tailored trousers. Prada played around with school-boy shorts, bulky flannel lumberjack vests and lace shirts, then moved onto a gender clash of straight lace sheaths layered over men’s pants, graphic sweaters and Seventies-printed shirts. These oddball layers and pairings progressed through jackets in checked prints that looked like old kitchen wallpaper, pretty lace dresses, robust leather vests and jackets that looked rich but well-worn. Sheer dresses that fell to the ankle with a gently nipped waist came in delicate embroideries with sweet, childlike cotton collars. To accessorize, there were colorful basket bags and flat sandals, mary janes and loafers worn with graphic athletic socks. The looks amounted to far from ordinary, but the clothes didn’t wear the girl — it was the other way around.